How Was The Bubble Gum Flavor Discovered?

This article is about the discovery of the bubble gum flavor and how it came to be.

Many years ago, people have already known gum in a natural form. It is frequently used coming from the resin of leaves, trees, grasses, grains as well as bee wax. Ancient Greeks also chewed on mastic, which is an aromatic and resinous substance, while the Maya opted for the coagulated sap of Sapodilla tree and the North American Indians masticated spruce sap that has already hardened.

It was in 1848 that the first chewing gum was made available in the market by a man named John Bacon Curtis who was a merchant from Maine and the gum was named ďState of Maine Pure Spruce GumĒ. Together with his father and his brother, Curtis discovered that spruce resin can become gummy and sticky and is good enough for chewing. To give the product a taste, the father and sons added various paraffin flavors which in turn gave the chewing gum a soft rubber-like consistency.

In the year 1869, the first chewing gum patent was obtained by Amos Tyler, an American who failed to make the gum purchasable. William Finley Semple, a dentist from Ohio, was able to sell it in December 1869 with the product generally composed of chalk and charcoal.

From Adams New York Chewing Gum To Yucatan

It was also in 1869 that a Mexican general named Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna came to New York as a hunted man from his country bringing a Mexican ďtreasureĒ with him Ė 250 pounds of dried Sapodilla sap to be sold as a rubber substitute. The sales of the goods directed him to Thomas Adams who was a successful businessman and an entrepreneur thatís full of doubt. He thought of the idea of producing chewing gum out of the dried sap and adding different flavors from the recipe of Lopez; therefore, making the initial step in making the first ever chewing gum in the world that was very similar to what the present market has as a chewing gum. The first gum was called ďAdams New York Chewing GumĒ. During the 1970s, the ďAdams and sonsĒ company started selling gum named ďSour OrangeĒ and was popularly eaten as a dessert. By 1871, Adams had the first machine for gum manufacturing patented, creating a licorice-flavored gum named ďBlack JackĒ. However, the gum could not keep the flavor for a long time of chewing. Come 1880, corn syrup, sugar and gum with an aroma of mint were formulated by William White. He realized that mint is preserved longer compared to the other flavors. ďYucatanĒ was the name of the original gum with mint flavor.


During the same time, Dr. Edward Beeman added pepsin powder to the already known recipe therefore making a gum with digestive roles. This was actually one of the biggest discoveries in the account of chewing gum and the recipe is in fact still used until now. By 1888, ďTutti-FruttiĒ invaded the market as the gum sold through specialized machines in the subway stations of New York.

Wrigleyís Chewing Gum

By 1891, ďWrigleyís Chewing GumĒ was produced by William Wrigley Jr and at that time, there were more popular gums available in the market. By 1892, Wrigley came out with the idea of giving a couple of packages of chewing gum for every can of baking powder and the offer enjoyed success. Wrigleyís first brands were ďVassarĒ and ďLottaĒ, and in 1893, ďJuicy FruitĒ appeared in the market and by the following year, ďWrigleyís SpearmintĒ was made available to the masses. In 1914, Wrigley together with Henry Fleer created ďWrigleyís DoublemintĒ with fruit extracts and mint flavor. This led to the worldwide recognition of Wrigley and the opening of his first factory in USA and then in Canada, Australia, UK and then in New Zealand.

This entry was posted in Cooking.